Under the direction of Virgin Islands Montessori and Peter Gruber International Academy (VIMSIA) Middle Years Program English Language and Literature teacher Melissa Bump, six high school students participated in the annual Poetry Out Loud competition with hopes of winning and moving on to the territory-wide competition scheduled for March 9, 2019 in St. Croix. Contestants included: Caroline Gaskin ‘20, Bianca Campbell ‘22, Kira Mitchell ‘21, Vidhika Khemani ‘22, Layla Richman ‘22 and Adia Thomas ’21. Each student was required to prepare, memorize and recite two poems from the Poetry Out Loud Anthology.
This year’s winners: 3rd place Kira Mitchell, 2nd place Caroline Gaskin, 1st place Adia Thomas. The VI Council on the Arts will provide an all expense paid trip to St. Croix for Thomas and Bump.
Poetry Out Loud provides a great opportunity for students to truly connect with poetry through memorization and internalization of the poet’s message. It is also a fabulous opportunity for students to gain public speaking experience.
The winner of the territory competition will receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington DC in April to compete in the national competition. There are numerous award levels in DC, the most impressive being the $20,000 awarded to the national champion. In addition to the financial benefit, Poetry Out Loud opens fantastic doors for that person. Some national champions have even performed at the White House.